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Jos Buttler's comments on Test cricket will surprise England fans

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In naming his first England squad since becoming national selector, Ed Smith has already shown he is not afraid to defy expectations.

Mark Stoneman has kept his place for the upcoming Pakistan series against the odds, while very few will have predicted the return of Jos Buttler.

In the 18 months that the Lancashire batsman has been out of the Test side, he has turned into something of a phenomenon in the IPL.

With 490 runs in just 10 matches, the Rajasthan Royals star will come in at seven to spearhead England's lower order, with James Vince, who had batted at three, dropping out altogether.

Yet, it goes without saying that for all Buttler's exploits on the sub-continent, Test cricket is an altogether different arena.

The 27-year-old is far from the only player to turn his back on red-ball cricket over the past year, with Alex Hales and Adil Rashid leading the way this side of the water by renouncing the County Championship.

Plenty of England fans will be concerned, though, that Buttler's big-hitting will make it difficult for him to adapt back into the slower-paced slog of a five-day match.

However, judging by his excitement at his call-up, he still values the traditional format very highly.

Buttler's focus on red-ball cricket

"You get the feeling talking to everyone that they still feel Test cricket is the best", he told a press conference.

"Virat Kohli signing for Surrey to get used to playing in England so he can play well in Test matches shows that it's at the forefront of players' minds - Test cricket is still the pinnacle."

England Net Session

While he's a far cry from Eoin Morgan, who has completely given up on playing Tests for England again, it still comes as a surprise to hear Buttler admitting that this is where his focus ought to lie.

The wicket-keeper, who will not be handed the gloves on this occasion as they will be retained by Jonny Bairstow, also added of his plans:

"I sort of planned the end of this summer and I knew I was going to be available for a lot of Championship cricket for Lancashire, so that was a real focus of mine to target red-ball cricket.

"You always think maybe that race is run so to get that call - it's unbelievable and an awesome opportunity."

It's easy for him to say in hindsight now that he is returning to the fold, but perhaps we were wrong to assume that the lucrative grasp of the IPL had Buttler in its clutches for good.

Were England right to call up Buttler on the strength of his IPL form? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
England cricket
Pakistan cricket
Cricket
Alex Hales
Jos Buttler
Virat Kohli
Jonny Bairstow

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